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Medium‐chain glycerides affect gut morphology, immune‐ and goblet cells in post‐weaning piglets: In vitro fatty acid screening with Escherichia coli and in vivo consolidation with LPS challenge

De Keyser, Kirsten, Dierick, Noël, Kanto, Uthai, Hongsapak, Tassanan, Buyens, Goedele, Kuterna, Leni, Vanderbeke, Erik
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2019 v.103 no.1 pp. 221-230
Escherichia coli, acylglycerols, agar, antibiotics, antimicrobial properties, bacterial growth, blood serum, diet, digestive tract, fatty acids, feed intake, fish meal, flora, goblet cells, growth promotion, ileum, immunoglobulin A, in vivo studies, inoculum, intravenous injection, jejunum, pH, piglets, plasma cells, protective effect, rice, screening, sodium chloride, soybean meal, villi, weaning
The influence of medium‐chain glycerides on performance and gastrointestinal well‐being in weaning piglets was assessed. First, caproic (C6), caprylic (C8) and capric (C10) acid activity against Escherichia coli was screened in vitro. Pig flora of the whole small intestine was used as inoculum. Seven in vitro incubations were done in duplicate at pH = 3 and 5: C10 (15 mM), C8 (12 mM), C6 (15, 12, 10 mM), a non‐incubated‐negative control and incubated negative control. Culture suspensions were plated on E. coli‐selective agar. Controls showed bacterial growth. C6 and C8 showed no growth at both pH‐values, where C10 showed growth at pH = 5. Secondly, an in vivo study was done with 80 weaned piglets over 42 days, housed in pens of eight animals (five pens/treatment), fed a basal diet containing broken rice/soya bean meal/fish meal and supplemented with C6 and C8 in medium‐chain glyceride form (MCT6/8, 0.175%) or antibiotic growth promoter (AGP, 0.020%) (Kasetsart University, Thailand) serving as control. Feed intake, daily gain and feed‐to‐gain ratio did not differ between MCT6/8 and AGP. Per replicate, two random selected piglets were challenged intravenously with E. coli‐lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline solution (S) at Days 21 and 28. All challenged animals were sacrificed; blood and digestive tract samples (jejunum/ileum) were collected at Day 35. LPS challenge consistently reduced villus height and crypt depth for MCT6/8 and AGP. However, LPS‐challenged piglets supplemented with MCT6/8 restored villus height, where AGP did not. MCT6/8 piglets had higher serum IgA, more jejunal IgA‐positive plasma cells and goblet cells than AGP. At the ileal level, results were similar, though less pronounced. The present study offers new insight in the benefits of MCT6/8 over AGP in the post‐weaning period. There is in vitro anti‐microbial action of C6 and C8 on E. coli. In vivo, MCT6/8 also has protective effects in the small intestine that may result in growth promotion.